At the height of Hitler’s Holocaust, as millions were being murdered in the death camps, four daring young women risked their lives to expose the twisted experiments Nazi scientists were conducting on camp inmates.
The German SS carried out this medical torture in secret and news of them using human subjects was never supposed to leave the confines of the evil physicians’ laboratories.
However, the sordid details of the experiments were broadcast to the world after the women sent coded letters to their families in which they described their horrific treatment in invisible ink concocted from their own urine.
And more than 70 years later, the story of these women has been told in a series of interviews which form part of Dr. David Gil’s forthcoming book, The Art of Hiding.
One of these Second World War heroines was a Polish woman called Krystyna Czyz whose hometown of Lublin was invaded by German troops in September 1939 when she was just 15 years old.
In 1941, after torturous interrogation from Gestapo officers who suspected her family of disobedience, she was taken to the Ravensbrück concentration camp in northern Germany, according to Haaretz which has seen an advanced copy of the book.
The following year and under the supervision of Karl Gebhardt, the personal doctor to SS leader Heinrich Himmler, Nazi doctors began dragging inmates into their laboratories to conduct sick medical tests.
Among the 74 human subjects – dubbed as ‘rabbits’ – was Krystyna and three other women called Wanda Wijtasik, Janina Iwaska and her sister Krystyna Iwaska.
All four of them suffered excruciating pain at the hands of the camp’s physicians who punctured their flesh with shards of unwashed broken glass to deliberately cause them infection.
Although their own personal trauma was unbearable, the women resolved to find a way to filter the sordid details of the camp’s experiments out into the world. Read more